As part of its commitment to back British farmers and growers, Co-op has become the first major UK retailer to announce a move to 100% British strawberries for the summer season.

The move will see the products from Kent Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Hereford hitting shelves across its 2,400 UK stores two weeks ahead of last year. 

Growers of Co-op’s own-brand berries take measures to mitigate against the weather challenges such as cultivating crops in protected environments to ensure steady growth. 

Co-op predicts sales of 1.42 million punnets of its own brand strawberries (£2.50, 227g) between now and the bank holiday weekend (4-5th May).  

Elizabeth Orme, fruit buyer at Co-op, said: “Marking the start of those warmer days to come, we’re looking forward to offering our members and customers the finest homegrown strawberries earlier than ever. Our partnership with local growers ensures great quality and supports British produce, helping to contribute to the growth of the local farming community which is something we’re passionate about.”  

The transition to 100% British strawberries is part of Co-op’s ongoing commitment to backing British farmers and growers, and providing its member owners and customers with fresh, high-quality home-grown produce.  

Co-op is a proud supporter of the NFU’s Fruit and Vegetable pledge, forming close working relationships with British farming and the home-grown fresh produce sector – a commitment which has been key to Co-op’s ambition to replicate the success of the 2023 season. 

Last year Co-op was named ‘Retailer of the Year’ by British Berry Growers for achieving the highest growth in British berry sales with a total increase of 22.1% in volume sales across all berries.